To you who are engaged, married, single or not thinking about any, This write up contains something I learned that I believe is applicable to everyone who wants to live a life of purpose and security.
This title might be an attention seeker especially when it comes from someone who just got married 20 months ago. And before you throw rocks or swing fists of words allow me to make it all clear; I won’t trade any day of these 20 months of my life for any of my best days as a single person. And there is no other person in this entire world who can replace my wife’s place in this heart. I’m in love then, now and still be through the years to come.
Months before our wedding day while listening to a sermon about marriage from Francis Chan, an American preacher, several words from him and his wife kept ringing in my mind, “one day we will stand before God and we should not underestimate that,” I clicked the video expecting to listen to a message that will pump me up for my upcoming marriage only to find out that that it wouldn’t just be my marriage which will be affected by this sermon but also the rest of my life, and my wife’s and children’s.
The couple talked about the book they wrote entitled, You and Me Forever, Marriage in Light of Eternity. I ended up downloading the free e-book (and eventually buying the hardcopy). And yes, I got the title of this blog from one of the chapter titles of their book. The truths in it together with the preaching and encouragement of my senior pastor really opened my eyes as though God was speaking to me and leading me and my marriage to a life of greater significance. Those words are wisdom in the inmost place crafted from their experience and communion with God and It’s so beautiful that I can’t help but share.
Here are some points that left an impact in my heart and hopefully to yours also but these words won’t give justice to the actual content of the book especially when authors backed the truths up with their experiences of love, sacrifice and glory:
- Marriage isn’t about us.
Yes, marriage is the union of two different individuals committing to a life of unity and love regardless. Social media has been so generous in displaying “beautiful” marriages with scenic backgrounds or gestures of kisses and embrace, happy families, nice homes etc. but like the little boy’s tendency of adorning the toy than the giver, Christian marriages today seemed to forget the One Who orchestrated their union. Christians tend to forget who they are when they get married, more than a husband and a wife we are Disciples of Christ. More than half of the percentage of those who are getting married (including Christians) will eventually be separated or will think of being such. That occurs because instead of digging deeper in the well of the Living Water, we opted to focus on the surface (giving and demanding love from our partners) leaving us thirsty and lacking and tired. The Lord designed marriage, and it’s so beautiful and should not be wasted. The only way we can save marriages is to allow God to work in it.
Our marriage is entirely not about us but about Him.
- God’s Mission over Marriage
If we are Disciples of Christ and if His mission is to share the Word and make Disciples, what then should our primary purpose in life be? This is one bold challenge mentioned in the book, especially in today’s generation where fatherless youths are abundant. While it is a noble pursuit to put family and marriage above the list, Jesus’ challenge is even bolder, ‘if you love your father or mother or children or even yourself more than me, you are NOT fit to be my disciple’. Making God’s mission as our mission doesn’t mean neglecting our families (in fact, we are accountable). It is the only way to make our family secured and steady. Living in God’s mission is like building your home on solid ground. An athletic team doesn’t spend most of their time travelling together or on Friday nights together. They only fixed their eyes on one goal and as they achieve it, they become brothers in the process. Strong bond is but a result of being united towards a common goal.
- Self- Denial
When I think about discipleship, I can say that these words are hard to swallow- deny yourself! ‘Follow me’ may seem light but self-denial is a different story.
My wife and I are both working professionals, relatively young and hopefully healthy, in the normal lens of life we may envision our lives the way we want, we have our dreams and plans to achieve it. I can pour out my strength and time pursuing these for my family but I can’t be a disciple. It is just recently when God opened my eyes that He wanted all of me. I’m not talking about a divine calling of leaving my profession for “Full Time” work. I’m talking about being part in building the kingdom of God and loving Him with all my heart, soul and strength and making His mission my life’s purpose. And I can’t do it if my Heart is divided. Yes, that means, surrendering my plans for my family at His feet.
Christianity today is becoming central to us but in reality it is Christ centered. Sacrifice and surrender are the central theme of the scripture wherever season of life you may be. For us husbands and father, and for the wives and mothers as well, there is a greater call.